compiled by W7ZIW and Rob K6YR
(This was stolen from the Late Summer 1999 edition of BCEN NEWS, VE7ANG editor and putter outer).

Even at the higher echelons of the National Traffic System, there are some fundamental practices that make a net session "hum" for a Net Control Station (NCS) and the net participants.

Giving clear and sound directions is one part of an effective net session -- leave this to the NCS who has his own set of "tips". The following tips will make astounding improvements to the effectiveness of relaying traffic during a net session:

1. Be alert! Follow net progress while on net frequency, and listen carefully for call signs, NCS directions, and for other stations not heard by the NCS. If you do not understand directions, ASK.

2. Know the QN signals. For example, if NCS says "QNV" don't just send "GG" and head off. CONTACT THE STATION, then if both copy each other, move off to the designated frequency.

3. If you wish to relay for NCS, alert NCS with your call sign and send QNB?

4. Always, always report back to the NCS after being off net frequency, even if you know, or think you know, there is no more traffic for you. The exception to the rule is if you are excused by NCS with "QNX when through".

5. After NCS designates an off-net frequency for you to relay traffic, don't change bands, or make major frequency shifts, without first reporting back to NCS. The NCS may be sending other stations to you and needs to know where you are at all times.

6. The receiving station always selects the frequency as close to what NCS asked for, and calls the sending station. The sending station should not start calling the receiving station unless that station cannot be located on or near the frequency designated by NCS.

7. If you are off on a designated frequency and need a relay, come back to net frequency to get one assigned by NCS. Using another station that happens to be standing by, QNQ, can cause major problems for the flow of the net unless it is a very short relay ..

8. We all know how important it is to try to get the message correct. It is always prudent to ask for fills again and again, until you are sure you have it correct. Just as it is also prudent to ask for QRS when conditions are poor. Most proficient operators will QRS, without being asked to, under poor conditions.

K7BFL 12/9/99